A leaky basement is not just uncomfortable but it is also dangerous for your home. Allowing excessive moisture to build up in your home can mean encouraging mold and mildew growth along the building materials and in turn, this can be hazardous to your health and also be very expensive to clean up. If your basement needs waterproofing there are some affordable and easy options you can try yourself before calling a contractor. Consider a few suggestions.
1. Concrete coatings
These coatings mix up almost like actual concrete and then they are applied with a special brush. They dry in such a way that they resemble actual concrete and provide the thickest and toughest barrier against moisture and leaks in your basement. They are also typically the most expensive and the hardest to apply since the material needs to be mixed up in a wheel barrel or very large bucket, and the material is thick and heavy when brushed on. They also typically cannot be applied to previously painted surfaces so they aren't an option for all basements.
2. Silicone coatings and sealers
These sealers adhere to concrete and create a thick barrier that keeps out moisture. They too need to be applied with a special brush and are thick and heavy, but they don't need to be mixed, making them easier to work with. They are not as thick as the concrete coatings but they work for most homes with small cracks and leaks in their basement. They too cannot be applied over painted surfaces.
3. Waterproof paint
A waterproof paint is a quick and easy solution to small leaks and cracks in a basement wall, as it will keep out moisture and condensation. As with any paint, it's adhered with rollers or brushes and comes in a wide variety of colors. Be sure you opt for paint that is meant for concrete or basements so it will stick properly to the smooth surface of the walls.
If your basement walls have obvious leaks and cracks, you want to use caulk to seal these before you try any other waterproofing method. Use caulk meant for basement walls and be sure it fills in the cracks completely so as to provide the strongest barrier against leaks. You can then add paint over this to make the entire surface look smooth and finished.
Call a contractor if you try any of these methods and still need your basement waterproofed. You may have large cracks in your foundation that need to be addressed properly to protect your home.